Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Soft Materials

2009 REU Program

2009 REU Program

Dr. Colina directed the MatSE REU in Soft Materials at Penn State. Additionally, many of her graduate students act as mentors for participating REU students. This program aims to foster the integrative education and training of students across Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry. It provides students with hands-on experience on a variety of sophisticated analytical, (nano) fabrication, and computational techniques, while working in a project-centered collaborative research environment. For more information, see the REU website.

Graduate Women in Science (GWIS)

Dr. Colina serves as co-advisor of the GWIS Nu Chapter. The purpose of GWIS is to further women’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, be a support and networking group for women in STEM fields both at Penn State and nationally, and to provide a vehicle for women’s recognition in STEM fields. This organization consists of graduate students, post-docs, and faculty who are involved in STEM.

On April 16, 2009, Dr. Colina participated in the “Inside the Scientists Studio” program sponsored by GWIS at Penn State. In this program, GWIS hosts interactive interviews with female Penn State scientists and engineers.

Women in the Sciences and Engineering (WISE)

2009 WISE Camp

2009 WISE Camp

Kristin Patterson volunteered at the Women in the Sciences and Engineering (WISE) Camp, hosted by Penn State from June 22-26, 2009. She was an instructor for the seminar “Building, Simulating and Analyzing Polymers Using Computational Chemistry”, during which camp participants ran their own molecular dynamics simulation of a short segment of DNA using Penn State’s powerful computing clusters. The WISE camp was a one week program for young women entering the 11th and 12th grades who are interested in the STEM fields. The WISE Institute also hosts programs for young women of all ages. See the WISE website for more information.

Leadership Roles

Dr. Colina was elected Vice Chair for the Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) for 2012-2014, and Chair for 2014-1016.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, Kyle Hart, Sasha Perkins, and Lauren Abbott were officers of the Penn State Chapter of the Materials Research Society (MRS). Kyle served as President, Sasha as Secretary, and Lauren as Treasurer. The mission of Penn State MRS is to promote interdisciplinary research on materials of interest by bringing together students and faculty from various backgrounds in materials to further the exchange of knowledge and ideas between the different programs.


Dr. Colina was an Invited Speaker at the Conferences Series “From Nanomedicine to Chemical Ecology” for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry Celebration in Colombia. This was a national event, broadcasted live to 10 different cities, from April to August. The series was sponsored by the Colombian National University, National Council of Chemistry, Colombian Society of Chemical Sciences, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and Banco de la Republica. Dr. Colina gave a talk titled “Plastics to Bionanomedicine: Endless Opportunities” on July 15, 2011 in Bogotá, Colombia.

Dr. Colina was an Invited Speaker at the international lectures for the V International Engineering Seminar in “Advances in science and polymer engineering: Biomaterials, engineering, simulation and polymerization”. The seminar was designed to strengthen institutional relations between universities and put visiting professors in contact with students to establish profession links and exchanges. This provided cross-cultural and academic opportunities for students that have not had the opportunity to leave Colombia.

Dr. Colina was an Invited Speaker for the 2009 NOBCChE Indianapolis Biotechnology Conference (National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Indianapolis Chapter).